Election Laws

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Section 11-46-52

Closing of polls; locking of machines; announcement of results; statements of canvass; proclamation; disposition of voting materials.

(a) When the time arrives for closing the polls, all qualified voters who are then waiting within the voting room to vote shall be permitted by the election officers to do so. As soon as the last voter has voted and the poll closed, the election officials shall immediately lock the machines against voting.

(b) The election officials shall then sign a certificate stating that the machine was locked and sealed, giving the exact time. Such certificate shall also state the number of voters shown on the public counters, which shall be the total number of votes cast on such machine in that ward, the number on the seal, and the number registered on the protective counter.

(c) The election officials shall then open the counting compartment in the presence of the watchers and of at least one representative of any newspaper or press association which cares to be represented, giving full view of all the counter numbers. The inspector shall, under the scrutiny of the watchers, in the order of the officers as their titles are arranged on the machines, read and announce in distinct tones the designating number and letter on each counter for each candidate's name, if the construction of the voting machine is such as to require a designating number and letter, and the result as shown by the counter numbers. He or she shall in the same manner announce the result on each constitutional amendment, bond proposition, or any other question voted on.

(d) The vote as registered shall be entered on the statements of canvass in ink by the clerks, such entries to be made in the same order on the space which has the same designating number and letter if the construction of the voting machine is such as to require a designating number and letter, after which the figures shall again be verified by being called off in the same manner from the counters of the machines. The returns of the canvass as required by law shall then be filled out, verified and shall show the number of votes cast for each candidate, the number of votes cast for and against any proposition submitted, and shall be signed by the election officials. The counter compartments of the voting machine shall remain open throughout the time of the making of all statements and certificates and the official returns and until such have been fully verified, and during such time the watchers of any candidate or any representative of any newspaper shall be admitted.

(e) The proclamation of the result of the votes cast shall be deliberately announced in a distinct voice by the inspector who shall read the name of each candidate with the designating number and letter, if the construction of the voting machine is such as to require a designating number and letter, his or her counter and the vote registered on such counter and also the vote cast for and against each proposition submitted. During such proclamation, ample opportunity shall be given to any person lawfully entitled to be in the polling place to compare the results announced with the counter dials of the machine and any necessary corrections shall then and there be made, after which the doors of the voting machine shall be locked and sealed with the seal provided, so sealing the operating lever or electrical control, if an electrically operated machine, that the voting and counting mechanism will be prevented from operation.

(f) The record of assisted voters, the oaths of assisted voters, the poll list and a copy of the list of qualified electors shall be placed in the voting machine, if the machine is so constructed that this may be done, and if these items cannot be placed in the machine, then they shall be sealed in an envelope or package, across the seal of which each election official shall sign his or her own name, and this envelope or package shall be delivered to the municipal clerk and retained by him or her unopened for the time prescribed by subsection (b) of Section 11-46-53 for the retention of records of elections. The inspectors shall deliver to the municipal clerk the keys of the machine, enclosed in a sealed envelope, across the seal of which shall be written his or her own name, together with that of the other election officials, and on this envelope shall be recorded the date of the election, the number of the voting district, the number of the seal with which the machine was sealed, the number of the public counter, and the number on the protective counter.

(Acts 1961, No. 663, p. 827, §32; Act 2006-281, p. 496, §1.)
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